Sponsoring an art project?

Sixty-three paintings of skies that cover a 19′ x 17′ gallery wall – This is the latest project I’m working on. The project took different forms as I worked through my ideas over the course of the last year, but now it’s finally happening: actual paintings to install on an actual wall. I’ll share the story behind the project as it develops, but first I wanted to ask you:

We’ve gotten used to the concept of sponsored athletes, but what about sponsored artists?

I’m not talking about huge corporate sponsors (although I wouldn’t turn that down). What I’m talking about is micro donations so that anyone who wants to support my work can chip in to help make this new project happen.

So what I’m asking is “Would you sponsor this project?”

I’ve teamed up with Buy me a coffee, a platform for crowdfunding through micro donations, and I’ve set up my page with different ways to support my work. You can support the project with $5 or more or you can become a member and support my work with a monthly or even yearly sponsorship.

In this project I am making many smaller parts that as a whole, will create a very large artwork. Your support is also one part out of many parts that will make this project possible.

Everyone who contributes will be credited in the exhibit and on the project page of my website.

Take a look at my page to see the ways you can support my work, and I’d be super grateful if you could share on your social channels and email. Thank you!

The cost of materials (polypropylene paper and acrylic paint) to complete this project is $500. I install the exhibit (this project along with Paper Mountain, Sky Project and other paintings) at Sechrest Gallery at High Point University on October 16-22, so I’m setting a deadline to finish these particular paintings by October 8th. I always plan to finish the actual making of work at least 1 week before installation because this leaves me time to do the myriad things that need to be done before a show goes up.

a small sky painting to test out the materials and the idea… The actual project paintings will be a larger 20×26″

Big skies, beginnings of a project

Big skies… this is the working title for a new project I’m working on. I announced last week that Sechrest Gallery at High Point University invited me to show Paper Mountain, Sky Project and a group of paintings for a solo exhibit in the fall, and installation for the show starts exactly 90 days from today. Because I want to make a lot A LOT of paintings between now and then, I decided what this exhibit needs is a wall-full of paintings – sky paintings to be specific.

So I am making 50 sky paintings that will literally cover one of the gallery walls.

The paintings will be hung in a grid 19ft tall and 17ft wide.

I’ve decided to use acrylic on Yupo, a polypropylene paper. The acrylic dries relatively fast compared to oil paint, so I can easily stack finished paintings as I work. As for the Yupo paper, I like how slick it is to paint on, and I know that it will sit against the wall rather than buckle.

Why am I using paper rather than wood or canvas to make these paintings? I want the images to sit flat on the wall rather than jut out into space like a panel does. I don’t want the objectness of a panel.

I’ll share with you progress on this project as I go, so stay tuned for images as I figure things out.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with an image of a sky I particularly like. This is Field and forest with red, one of the paintings from my Tiny Landscapes collection. I enjoy being able to see some of the underpainting of the sky… bits of pink and gold glimpsing through layers of sky and cloud. This little painting is acrylic on wood panel and measures 6×6 inches.

Searching on the Wind… and Paper Mountain is coming BACK!

I’m super excited to share with you that the Sechrest Gallery at High Point University has invited me to show Paper Mountain, Sky Project and a group of paintings in a solo show this fall. If you’ve been following my work for a few years, you might remember Paper Mountain as the 14-foot tall mountain of 1200 folded paper cranes I suspended at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art in spring 2019. The project took a couple of years from start to finish, and seeing it installed was truly validating as an artist, so I’m happy to be able to exhibit it in another space and to share it with more people. Stay tuned for more about that as we get closer to installation week in October.

With its sheer size, Paper Mountain can be an immersive experience for viewers. While my newest paintings aren’t monumental in scale, the paintings in the Searching on the wind collection are immersive in their special own way.

These landscapes evoke wide open spaces: big skies, meadows, forests, mountains and rivers. Each painting is a meditative play of shapes and colors.

If you let them, these paintings may just transport you to your favorite mountain or river or forest… 

Find them all HERE and please don’t hesitate to message me if you have questions about any of the work, payment or shipping.

PS: Recently a client asked me if it was safe to ship paintings these days. The answer is YES! I am shipping artwork wherever USPS, Fedex and UPS will travel.

Getting Back into Work Flow

My family and I returned home from our adventures on the road two days ago, and it feels good to be back in the studio.

Over the years I developed some tools to help myself get back into the flow of work after time away (even if it’s just one night). One of the tactics I use is to leave some unfinished work to do so I can jump right back in. When we left two weeks ago I left an unfinished drawing, and after two sessions I finished it yesterday morning. It’s a drawing of a possum skull my mom found in the woods. I keep a collection of small animal skulls in my studio because they are beautiful and wonderful to draw.

Possum Skull pencil drawing

I’m also conscious of how relaxed I feel from being on vacation, and I’m making a concerted effort (in the most relaxed way of course) to maintain this vibe. (Yes, I said vibe because it’s summer and I’m relaxed, ok?) What this translates into  is noticing when work or life is making me anxious, and trying to let go of the tension in my shoulders or wherever it happens to be. You might say I’m living mindfully. Aha! Do I need more vacation to keep working on this kind of awareness?

One thing is for sure, I’m missing being able to watch entire stages of the Tour de France like I did on holiday. Cyclists in the Tour rode up Mont Ventoux, or the “Giant of Provence” yesterday – not once, but twice!

In honor of this beast of a climb, below is the “Ventoux”  painting recently commissioned by a collector, one of the Epic Rides custom series.

I have a few open slots for commissioned paintings in the next few months. Email me if you’d like to chat about a possible custom painting of your own.⁣

And if you’d like to commission an artwork and want to spread out the cost over time, I’ll be happy to set up an interest-free payment plan for you. Read more about this here or simply email me to chat.

Ventoux painting

It’s Tour de France time!

It’s that magical time of year when we have the TV playing for hours every day for three weeks so we can catch all of the Tour de France action. No really, it’s better than it sounds.

Anyway the Tour started last Saturday, and true to form my husband and I have been faithfully watching each stage and getting our daily fix of cycling action. This weekend the racers head into the mountains and the drama will really start. [hand rubbing]

The first time I worked a Tour trip back in my guiding days was in 2010. I remember most vividly the climbs on Col de Peyresourde and Col du Tourmalet. On the climb up Peyresourde, I ran into Didi the Devil, an iconic caped German spectator who follows the Tour each year wearing red tights and horns. On Tourmalet, between pouring rain and blasting winds, we got to watch the heavy-weights as they duked it out up the epic climb. One of the best parts of being on a steep climb during a big race is that the experience is so intense – you get to see the cyclists really suffering their way up – much more slowly than on flat terrain – so you can get a good long look at everyone. And the crowds are crazy at Tour mountain stages. With all the people there, it can be tough just to get a good spot along the road. Some people park and camp for days staking out their spot along the road.

This brings me to my Epic Ride series of paintings. These custom paintings are based on your favorite – most epic – maybe even legendary – rides you’ve done, want to do, or have seen the pros ride. (These can also be based on an epic run or hike!) You can read a bit more about these paintings here.

I’ll be back in the studio next week, and I have a few open slots for commissioned paintings in the next few months. Email me if you’d like to chat with me about a possible custom painting of your own or just give me a call at (336) 283-0185.

And if you’d like to commission an artwork and want to spread out the cost over time, I’ll be happy to set up an interest-free payment plan for you. Read more about this here or simply email me to chat.

Alpe d'huez painting
“Alpe d’Huez,” one of the paintings in my Epic Rides custom series.

Gone Fishing

I’m excited to say that I am on an actual family vacation – a road trip even! – to Washington DC this week. We are going for walks on the National Mall and getting in trouble for standing too close to paintings in museums (oh wait, that’s just me).

Next week we’ll head up to Maryland to visit my in-laws on the Chesapeake Bay. My husband Tim will make beautiful cyanotypes while my son and I run around and pretend to be sharks in the water.

This is the kind of stuff that refuels me and my artistic practice. I hope you’ll take some time for yourself this week too.

In the meantime, here are a few things from the studio:

Last chance to see my paintings at PTI airport in Greensboro before they come down on July 8th. They are at lower level door 5 (near the baggage claim). These works are available.

Field and forest with violet and purple” recently sold. Some of my Tiny Landscapes are still available, and you’ll find them here.

Have you been to Storm King? For this painting in my Searching on the wind collection, an old friend sent me a photo she took while visiting Storm King in NY. Storm King is a remarkable sculpture park with a collection of mammoth artworks set in a wind-swept landscape. Ever since I visited it years ago with my husband, I’ve wanted to go back. You’ll find this painting in my shop.

abstract landscape painting in a home office

Storm King,” one of the paintings in my Searching on the wind collection.

on running and getting hurt and painting

I started running when I was 11 or 12. My dad and I would run down Highway 115 and at the Davidson College track. He taught me to kick at the end of a run and to stretch out stomach cramps on the move. I raced him to imaginary finish lines and we’d laugh  because we were having fun and we both knew we were trying to outrun each other. He’d let me win sometimes.

 

I ran track and cross country in junior high and struggled with shin and knee injuries until one day when I couldn’t move without excruciating pain in my knees after a long run. As athletes we learn to differentiate between discomfort and pain. There is a level of discomfort and sometimes even pain that comes from pushing yourself. And then there is the kind of pain that leads to injuries, and unfortunately it can take a while to figure out the difference. After that long run, I did months of physical therapy to try and solve my nagging knee problems. This competitive streak – with others and with myself – is possibly what has continued this cycle of running and hurting myself over the years.

 

There is a popular quote incorrectly attributed to Einstein that says “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Don’t ask me who actually said this, because I checked on the internet, and apparently no-one actually knows.

 

I’ve dreamt of running marathons since I was 14, and I have yet to run one because I keep hurting myself. I still want to run a marathon, and I’d like to do so comfortably. Also I’d like to be able to keep on running for as long as I am able, so it’s time I do things differently.

 

Last weekend I started running again using a new tactic: running and walking intervals. Coming from an old-school “no pain, no gain” type of mentality, where walking while running is a sign of weakness, I am having to change my way of thinking about running and remove my ego from the equation.

 

In my current body of work, Searching on the wind, I am also pushing myself to try new and uncomfortable things in painting. My vision is still the same: Ultimately I’d love for my work to get people excited about the outdoors and to get out for a hike or run or ride or really anything outside – and better yet with others.

 

While making these paintings, one challenge I set for myself was to stick with acrylic paint rather than switching to oil paint part of the way. With acrylic it’s more challenging for me to make the paint do what I can rely on oil paint to do – to easily push it around and for the paint to still have presence on the canvas. Oil paint has more body (it’s thicker and well… more oily) and is naturally more opaque than acrylic paint. While I am able to make paintings that are not obviously either acrylic or oil (a skill that I value), acrylic has traditionally not been as satisfying as oil for me to use. With these paintings, I resisted the urge to switch to oils because I wanted to see if I could get the same paint-feel for myself while sticking with acrylics. This is more of a personal goal rather than something that others will notice, but I think that for my art practice to be sustainable, I have to set parameters, rules or challenges for myself to keep things spicy.

 

As for the ego thing, this can come into play as an artist. We sometimes want our work to be more than what it is or to show off our skills or to be high-concept. While it is important to me that my work be transcendent  – that the finished piece be more than the sum of its parts – it’s also important that the work be honest and not try too hard. The finished piece should feel like it happened naturally, that no elements are extraneous and all are essential. While sometimes maximal is the way to go, with these particular paintings, I wanted a simpler, more elemental feel. I think of these as meditative, poetic paintings that whisper rather than shout.

 

You can explore the works in the Searching on the wind collection here.

Two years in the making of a painting collection

Two years in the making of a painting collection… What started this body of work was a question I asked on Facebook: What outdoor spaces bring you peace and happiness? Friends sent me photos of their special landscapes, and I used those images as a jumping off point to create these paintings.

In this series of landscapes the feel of wide open spaces meets a soft geometry – a meditative play of shapes and colors.

Explore the paintings in the Searching in the wind collection HERE.

“Searching on the Wind” a New Painting Collection

In this series of landscapes the feel of wide open spaces meets a soft geometry – a meditative play of shapes and colors. 

What started this body of work was a question I asked on Facebook: What outdoor spaces bring you peace and happiness? Friends sent me photos of their special landscapes, and I used those images as a jumping off point to create small paintings, my Tiny Landscapes.

Using those paintings, I then created the larger works in “Searching on the wind.” Some of them stayed true to the small paintings, and some veered in other directions. After working on a painting for a while, it starts to take on a life of its own, and if you know how to listen, paintings will “ask” for one thing or another. Finished paintings are a conversation between the artist and the painting – or maybe with the muse or the universe…

I hope these paintings will evoke the poetry of nature and bring a sense of wonder and a breath of fresh air into your life.

Find them all HERE.

If you’d like to read more about what I was thinking as I started these paintings, check out this blog post about slowing down and enjoying the process.

 

The Mountains are calling and so is the Giro

It’s May… which means it’s Giro d’Italia time. This iconic race around Italy means we get to watch the drama of cycling unfold over three weeks while cyclists race their hearts out through gorgeous Italian landscapes. And since we’re well into the race, it means we’re hitting the mountains. And you know I’m obsessed with mountains – especially Italian ones.

Whenever it’s Giro time I think back to my days guiding bicycle tours in the Italian Alps.

In honor of the Giro and mountains here are some of my favorite mountain paintings available.
These are part of a collection inspired by my time guiding cyclists in the Dolomites, one of my favorites spots in the world. By playing with color and brush marks, I am sharing what it FEELS like up there. Bright hot sun, sharp cold air, big skies, vast sweeping green lush hills, and big jagged rock… The effort of making it up a climb and the elation of flying downhill afterward… These paintings bring this energy into your space.

Simply click each image below to find them in my shop.

Go Easy, oil and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches
How to Keep Warm, oil and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches
Among the Weeds and Other Blossoming Things, oil and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches
How to Satisfy the Bird, oil and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

If you’re looking for something made just for you, check out the Epic Ride paintings I’ve made. These custom paintings are based on your favorite – most epic – maybe even legendary – rides you’ve done, want to do, or have seen the pros ride.  And for those of you who have an Epic run or hike in mind, I’d love to make that painting for you.⁣

Interested in getting your own Epic Ride, run or hike painting? Email me to start the conversation. ⁣
I’ll create a beautiful, custom work of art to bring your dream to life or memorialize your accomplishment, so you can share the story of that adventure for years to come.

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